The Federal Government has called on critical stakeholders to step up efforts in the fight against Tuberculosis in the country.
The call for financial and technical supports becomes necessary as there currently exists a funding gap of 70 percent.
This is according to the National Coordinator of the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP), Chukwuma Anyike during a workshop by the Stop TB Partnership, in collaboration with Treatment Action Group (TAG), and the NTBLCP of the Federal Ministry of Health.
Anyaike disclosed that not less than 4.5 million Nigerians are at risk of contracting tuberculosis (TB) every year, as over 300,000 TB cases are missing.
He said the country has only treated 11 percent of people with drug-resistant TB, leaving a gap of 89 percent.
“If we don’t cut the chain of transmission, we are wasting our time. If we identify TB patients and do not bring them in to complete their treatment, we are wasting our time.
“We have 440,000 new cases of TB in this country and the highest number of cases we notified was in 2020. If compared with our estimation, you will find out we have above 300,000 cases still missing,” he said.
“Furthermore, worthy of note is the gap between diagnosis and enrollment of DR-TB cases which has been largely due to a myriad of factors.
“One of which is the lack of demand for the diagnostic services due to lack of awareness of Tuberculosis amongst the population, stigma, and ignorance of the people in the community about the disease,” Anyaike said.